Television has become part of everyday life. With the growing fixation and attraction to violence in the media, children in today’s society are becoming more violent and aggressive than ever before. However, to obtain a true understanding of this problem we must look at all aspect that cause violence, and not just put all of the blame on the media. Nevertheless, we shouldn’t forget the number one violence causing aspect, the media. America was founded upon violence; and we have always been a society of power and control.
They were able to see death. This captured and mesmerized the public, and as a result television began to become increasingly more violent. Television violence has reached a disturbingly high point, and with an increase in media violence comes an increase in child violence. Children have been gradually desensitized to violence, as violence within our media has increased. There has been such a great increase in media violence that now “the average child by the age of 18 will have witnessed 200,000 acts of violence and 16,000 murders.” Television programs display an average of 812 violent acts per hour... ... middle of paper ... ...o be desensitized to violence?
People of all ages especially those who are at an impressionable time in their lives, need to know that murder, death and violence are real and that sadness comes with all of these. The American media is the most violent in the world. Children in America are more likely to be shot than in any other country (AAP Committee on Communications, 1997; Derksen & Strasburger, 1997). With over 1000 studies supporting the causal connection between media violence and aggressive behavior in some children, we know the more life-like the violence depicted the more likely it will be learned. Yet 66% of children's programs contain violence and one third have nine or more violent portrayals in each episode.
The main negative effect being an increase in aggression among youth who are regularly exposed to the media and an increase in violent patterns as they mature into adulthood. If not resolved this problem of violence in the media will continue to push children, youth and adults to acts of aggression such as verbal and physical abuse and other more serious crimes. On average an American child will see 16,000 murders and 200,000 acts of violence by the age of 18 through the television. Thousands of studies from the 1950s to the present day have all suggested that viewing violent acts will increase violent behavior while only less than 20 have suggested otherwise (Boyse). As our children are exposed to these 16,000 murders and 200,000 violent acts one can only conclude that aggression, crime and violence can only increase in our younger generations from being exposed to the current media.
Children spend more time learning about life through media than in any other manner. The average child spends approximately twenty-eight hours a week watching television, which is twice as much time as they spend in school (Dietz, 75). According to the American Psychological Association, the average American child views 8,000 murders and 100,000 other acts of violence before finishing elementary school. In addition the average American child will witness over 200,000 acts of violence on television including 16,000 murders before the age of 18 (DuRant, 445). Polls show that three-quarters of the public find television entertainment too violent.
"Television violence affects children of all ages, all socio-economic levels, and all levels of intelligence" (Eron 1992). Not only has the number of television shows increased, but also the amount of violence within television shows. Television can be a powerful influence in developing values systems, morals and also in shaping one's behavior. Unfortunately, much of today' s television programming is violent. Numerous studies indicating the effects of TV violence on children and teenagers have found that young people are becoming desensitized to the real world often learning aggressive behaviors by imitating the violence they observe on television, and sometimes identifying with certain characters, victims or victimizers.
Our culture has been terrorized by violence too long, and it has to be restrained from our children. Violence in Television has recently become the main focus for many parents of young children. Due to so much of the violence, television stations are now forced to put certian ratings on TV programs. At first many stations were hesitant to put this system on their stations, but now it is located on every station. Many parents state that acts of violence are committed by many teens today due to them watching too much violence on television.
Television Violence and Children Thanks to the miracle of television the average American child watches 8,000 murders and 100,000 acts of violence before finishing elementary school (Early Concerns 113). Television violence is responsible for the increase in childhood violence. Watching violence is a popular form of entertainment, and watching it on television is the number one way that children are exposed to violence. Local news shows provide extensive converage of violent crimes in order to increase their ratings (Felson 96). Violence usually refers to physical aggression and aggression is usually defined as any behavior involving intent to harm another person (Sege 34).
Imagination is an important aspect for cognitive development as it shapes the interaction preschoolers have with their environment (Thakkar, 2006). Singer (2003, p1) defines imagination as the capacity to form images in one’s mind of absent objects or to maintain thoughts or ideas without necessary converting those into acts. She determined that the content on television is what hinders or enhances imagination. Research shows preschoolers imagination can be enhanced by educational television. Studying on how television stimulates imagination is done so with numerous techniques such as observation, inkblots, and questionnaires (Singer, 2003).
In addition, security has increased tremendously, within airports, major league sporting events, and upgraded police surveillance at American schools. Knowing this a logical assumption would be that violence has decreased. However, in my opinion, youth’s culture is changing and as a result violence is rising. Mass media is a major influence that causes violence in youth culture. According to Hoffman, studies show that children experience an incredible number of violent acts per hour of watching television (Hoffman 11).